Come Away And Rest
The one over there running like there’s no tomorrow.
Yes, you! The one with way too many things on your plate to slow down long enough to have this conversation. Yes, I’d like to have a moment of your time to talk about something important.
I want to talk about you. Specifically, I want to talk about your fast-paced life.
Yes, I know you have a bunch to do. I know you have kids to take care of, dishes to do, a yard to mow, a garden to tend, laundry, never-ending laundry, etc, etc, etc…
When was the last time you took a day, two days, three days to detox? Oh, I know, you can’t. At least that’s what you tell yourself. There’s too much to do. And, if YOU don’t do what needs to be done, it won’t get done.
I get it. I know all about it. I’m a stay-at-home dad.
This morning, your devotions were interrupted by a fussy child, a phone call, a knock at the door. You never got back to finish reading the Word. Tonight, when you fall into bed, exhausted once again, you’ll feel guilty about that.
How do I know? Been there, done that.
Today, Wednesday, as I write this, it’s very quiet in my house. My wife’s sister, of her own volition, offered to come get our three kids and take them home for the rest of the week. I was reluctant, at first, but I felt that gentle Nudge that said, Do it. You need it. You need time with Me.
And so, this week, from Tuesday evening through Saturday afternoon, I am home, alone. My wife works every day but Thursday, which she took off work so we could spend the day together.
Already, I feel the tension starting to ease. Oh, I don’t mean that I’m uptight around my kids, nor do I mean that I find it hard or tasking to be my kid’s dad. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean. With kids around, there are squabbles to referee, meals to be cooked, messes to be cleaned up, souls for which to care. As a parent, you never, ever let down your guard. But, there are times when we all need to relax.
On at least two separate occasions, we read in the Bible about the need to come away for rest, for time alone.
Once is in Song of Solomon, where we read,
“My lover said to me, ‘Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one! Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!’” Song of Songs 2:10-13 NLT
And also in Mark,
“Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.” Mark 6:31 NLT
There are biblical reasons for rest. In the two Scriptures above, one reason is to reconnect with your spouse. The other is to get away from the labor of the day to reconnect with, commune with Jesus.
Both are legitimate points, legitimate needs.
In the second passage above, Jesus noticed that His disciples were tired, and that they felt mobbed, overwhelmed. They needed rest. They needed time away.
So do you. Several times, we read of Jesus Himself going away alone. To pray. To seek the Father.
Behold, thy house shalt not fall down around thine ears if thou takest a rest. Behold, the Kingdom of Heaven shall not cease to go forward, shall not cease to be effective, if thou dost take time away. And behold, thou shalt be better for having done so.
I can already hear your answer: I don’t have time. I don’t have anyone to watch my kids. I don’t, I can’t, but, well, see, I, uh…
You need to make it happen. Your kids and your spouse need you to make it happen. And, the Lord wants you to make it happen.
Find a day, a half a day, a few hours. Get alone. And get alone with God. Enjoy the quiet. Turn off the electronic devices. Turn off the noise of life for a while. Get off Facebook. Be still. Know that He is God, and that all your days are in His hands.
Refocus. Sharpen your vision. Pray. Wait. Be still until you feel the peace return.
(And don’t let the Pulse editors know you are taking a few days off, or you’ll end up writing an article for them…)